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MSN Program of Study

The robust online curriculum integrates advanced nursing theory with evidence-based nursing practices. Graduates will apply these skills to careers in nursing education and nursing administration.

Precore or Concurrent 

Credit hours Course
3 MA 500/MAT 500 Statistics and Analysis

Core Program*

Credit hours Course
3 NU 510 Applied Theories for Advancing Quality Care
3 NU 520 Role Development for Advanced Leadership
3 NU 530 Health Care Ethical & Legal Considerations
2 NU 540 Quality Improvement & Informatics Applications
3 NU 550 Health Care Policy
3 NU 560 Epidemiology
3 NU 570 Research, Foundations for Evidence-Based Practice
4 NU 580 Advanced Pathophysiology/Pharmacology
3 NU 585 Advanced Health Assessment
3 NU 590 Transitional Care Practicum
1 (1-3) NU 680 Graduate Scholarly Synthesis Project
Total credits for core: 31-33
Total credits for core and chosen track: 40-43
*Sequence may vary
Nursing Education Track
3  NU 610 Theories, Principles & Methods of Education
3  NU 620 Program Assessment & Outcomes Measurement
3  NU 630 Education Practicum
Total credits for track: 9
Nursing Administration Track
3 NU 650 Fundamentals of Organizational Management
3 NU 660 Health Care Financing/Economics
3 NU 670 Administration Practicum
Total credits for track: 9

Credit: Clock-Hour Equivalency

Consistent with best practices in higher education, Baker University readily subscribes to the federal definition of the credit hour endorsed by the Higher Learning Commission.

Driven by intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement, the credit hour is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom (or direct faculty) instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work per week for the duration of the course enrollment period. If the course meets less than the traditional 15-week semester, the total time commitment for the class must be equivalent to the time required for a 15-week course.

MSN Course Descriptions

Core Courses

NU 510 Applied Theories for Advancing Quality Care

Concepts, theories, and principles from nursing and related disciplines are examined. Interrelationships among nursing theory, research, and practice are emphasized. Theories are applied to nursing practice, education, and administration. (3 credits)

NU 520 Role Development for Advanced Leadership

This course prepares the student to lead interdisciplinary teams. Organizational structure, complexity science, and systems analysis, group role theory, communication, conflict resolution, and change process will be emphasized. (3 credits)

NU 530 Health Care Ethical & Legal Considerations

This course focuses on the ethical values, codes, principles, and frameworks that guide the practice of nursing. The content will take an interdisciplinary focus as ethical and legal decision making at this level rarely is the decision of a single discipline. Concepts related to health care access, quality of life, cost containment, national health policy, and the rights of patients will be analyzed from a variety of perspectives and depths in an effort to more broadly and more profoundly address the moral difficulties that health care providers in an interdisciplinary environment are likely to encounter. Various ethical decision-making models are compared and applied to case scenarios. (3 credits)

NU 540 Quality Improvement & Informatics Applications

The focus of this course is to prepare the student to identify, collect, process, and manage data and information to support programs that are relevant to nursing practice in selected environments. Major emphasis is on the design of measurable outcomes as well as critique of tools and systems to establish, evaluate, and promote best practices. (2 credits)

NU 550 Health Care Policy

This course provides a framework for analysis of the evolving U.S. health care system and the nurses’ role in shaping health care policy. The effects of social, political, organizational, cultural, economic, and historical forces are explored. Current trends related to regulation, cost, quality, and access are analyzed, with particular emphasis on the complexities and inherent counter purposes of commerce and ethical obligations manifested in health care. (3 credits)

NU 560 Epidemiology

The focus of this course is on the examination and application of statistical methods, research designs, and epidemiologic principles used in health care research. Concepts related to health and disease, burden of illness, vulnerable populations and cultural diversity are addressed. Interdisciplinary practice and ethical considerations in health care are explored. (3 credits)

NU 570 Research, Foundations for Evidence-Based Practice

This course focuses on the principles and methods of quantitative and qualitative research as applied to nursing and the ethical implications inherent in conducting research. The steps of the research process are critically examined. Skills and competencies in informatics, research design and statistical analysis are enhanced. A research proposal is developed. The vital role of research in evidence-based practice, quality management, and outcomes evaluation is explored. The foundation for an EBP project is established. (3 credits)

NU 580 Advanced Pathophysiology/Pharmacology

This course is an integrated examination of common and important pathophysiology relevant to practice because of their prevalence and impact on the health care system and health of the nation. Content is organized around disease processes that have either high volume or high impact in care management. The student will examine associated pharmacological treatments and the social and environmental impacts of the pathologies. The role of pharmacogenomics will be explored in the prevention and treatment of pathologies. (4 credits)

NU 585 Advanced Health Assessment

This course affords the student with the opportunity to increase knowledge and expertise in the acquisition of advanced clinical skills in assessing and maintaining the health of individuals across the life span. The course will incorporate assessments that include social structures, family history, and environmental situations. Prerequisite or concurrent: NU 580. (3 credits)

NU 590 Transitional Care Practicum

This clinical practicum with seminars provides the student with the opportunity to apply core concepts to a selected health care area. The student will be expected to incorporate the principles of transitional care. This practicum includes, but is not limited to, engaging client and caregiver, managing symptoms, educating and promoting self-management, collaborating, assuring continuity, coordinating care, maintaining relationships, and screening. Prerequisite: The equivalent of one year of full-time clinical experience (or 1872 hours) as a registered nurse. (3 credits)

NU 680 Scholarly Synthesis Project

This scholarly project provides students with the opportunity to complete a culminating, synthesis component of their graduate education. This project affords students the occasion to present evidence of critical thinking, the ability to integrate information, to demonstrate an understanding of research processes, and finally the dissemination of information. Required course in the MSN graduate program. Prerequisite:  MA 500 Statistics & Analysis or equivalent and NU 570 Research, Foundation for Evidence-Based Practice. Must show continuous enrollment in this course until successful project completion. There is a maximum of 3 credit hours. (1 credit)

Nursing Education Track Courses

NU 610 Theories, Principles & Methods of Education

This course provides an overview of educational theory, methods, and strategies for classroom, clinical, and online instruction. Theories, principles, and methods that provide the basis for effectiveness in the nurse educator role will be examined along with the influence of student diversity on the teaching and learning process. Ethical and legal issues inherent in classroom and clinical teaching are explored. (3 credits)

NU 620 Program Assessment & Outcomes Measurement

This course focuses on teaching environments outside the traditional classroom. A strong emphasis on outcomes measurement and program assessment is integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: NU 610. (3 credits)

NU 630 Education Practicum

This educational practicum provides students an opportunity to apply core concepts to an educational setting.  The student is mentored by an experienced teacher to develop expertise in the nurse educator role in a setting that is an area of interest. Students will develop and implement teaching strategies in the didactic and clinical setting that contribute to safe clinical practice. Settings include academic nursing programs, secondary and tertiary health care agencies, and community-based primary care organizations. Prerequisites: NU 610 and 620. (3 credits)

Nursing Administration Track Courses

NU 650 Fundamentals of Organizational Management

In this course the student will analyze organizational dynamics and complex operational and regulatory factors that must be aligned to ensure the highest quality care, greatest efficiency, and cost effectiveness. The influences of an organization’s culture will be examined as it relates to successful organizational performance. (3 credits)

NU 660 Health Care Financing & Economics

This course focuses on understanding accounting principles so that students can interpret financial statements. Students will learn to compare industry benchmarks with the financial strength of an organization. Cash flow and expense budgets will be developed along with methods to track, analyze, and report results. Trends that drive health care finance, such as industry benchmarks and contract negotiations, will be considered. (3 credits)

NU 670 Nurse Administration Practicum

This nurse executive practicum provides students with the opportunity to apply core concepts to a health care setting. The student is mentored and precepted by a nurse executive in an area of interest. Knowledge, skills, and abilities related to creating cultures of safety and leading quality improvement are critical in contemporary leadership. Professional advocacy, assertiveness, and leadership in the role are necessary for successful completion. The nurse executive practicum includes 60 hours of on-site experience and a weekly seminar. Prerequisites: NU 650 and 660. (3 credits)

Contact Us

Dr. Carol Moore, Associate Dean
Fax: 785.354.5832

Mail Transcripts
Baker University School of Nursing
1500 S.W. 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66604

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